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Author: Steve the vagabond

Hi, I created Silly Linguistics. If you like life on the silly side, you have found just the right place

All languages fans know what IPA really stands for

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IPA stands for International Phonetics Association. It is an association that organises a set of characters used to describe the pronunciation of words. Their goal is to provide a common set of characters to describe the pronunciation of all languages around the world. It even has symbols to describe the click sounds used in Southern African languages.

The other meaning of IPA is India Pale Ale. But I am sure languages nerds were looking for the International Phonetics Association rather 😀

Sometimes Lingua Franca Challenges are really difficult

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There is a group on Facebook called Lingua Franca Challenge which I started with 2 other people: https://www.facebook.com/groups/linguafrancachallenge/

The goal of the challenge is to learn a language together with the other members of the group. In the first challenge, we learned Swedish together and it was really fun and I learned a lot. In the second challenge, we were tasked with learning Russian. That, well, didn’t go so well 🙁 Russian is very difficult!

But at least I learned Cyrillic finally! It is actually not that hard. I just had to get used to it. It is an alphabet, just like the Latin script that we use in English. Some of the letters are even the same as the Latin letters. Cyrillic is really not that hard to learn. If you want to learn a Slavic language that uses the Cyrillic script, I heartily recommend it 🙂

When did you get here?

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I love comics that play around with spelling! There are so many variants of English out there, and some dialects of English have some very funny correnspondences, such as the example here, where in Australian English, “die” and “day” sound almost the same.

In South African English, in certain parts of South Africa (everyone speaks slightly differently), /aɪ/ is monophthonised to /a/ so “I like survivor” comes out like “Ah lahk sevahva”. People in South Africa often like to make fun of the accents of the other cities, but it all in good fun 🙂

Tohan vs Hammen. Which is better? You decide

Atlaans is a language I created in 2014. Since then I have been working to build up the world it is spoken in. Atlaans is the name given to one of the Atlantean languages spoken on Atlantis. The capital of the northern Kingdom of Atlantis is Hammen. The main language spoken in Hammen is Atlaans.

A neighbouring city, Tohan, speaks a different but related language called Tohanian. Tohanians and Hammenders are always making fun of each because of the way each other speaks. In this video, a Tohanian has to make his way to Hammen because it is the only place he can find pineapples. What happens next? You will have to watch to find out 😀


The number two in Indo European languages

This is the development of the number two in all living Indo European languages
This is the development of the number two in all living Indo European languages.

Indo European languages together are the most widespread languages and is by far the largest language family in terms of native speakers. Major Indo European language families include Germanic (which includes English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Danish and Norwegian), Slavic (which includes Polish, Bulgarian, Russian, Czech and Serbian), Romance (which includes Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and French) and even includes languages like Persian, Hindi, Irish Gaelic and Scots Gaelic.

Indo European descend from a language we now call Proto Indo European which was spoken around 6000 BC. While there are many theories about where Proto Indo European originated, a major theory states that it emerged in the steppes of Russia.

Indo European languages continue to be very important in the world today thanks to languages like English (which is considered by many to be a near global lingua franca), Spanish (a lingua franca of South America) and French (which is a widely spoken language in Africa).